Welcome. I am so happy that you stopped by. My garden gate is always open for you to come in and sit and relax with a cup of tea while I share with you the inspirations for my art. I have been busy finishing up new Coastal Cottage paintings for the Heart of the Island Gallery and painting some old favorites for new customers before I take a break to have my 2nd total knee replacement surgery next week and wanted to share a few of them with you as well as answer the many questions I receive asking "where do you get the inspirations for your coastal art"?
I grew up spending summers with my family at my Grandparents' beach cottage at Wrightsville Beach, North Carolina. They built the cottage on the sound side of the island rather than the ocean side so their grandchildren would be able to swim, fish, crab, boat, etc.in front of the house and my Grandmother would have a yard where she could plant her beloved flowers.The house had rambling porches over looking the sound with rockers on the porch and wicker furniture on the grassy lawn.The cottage was filled with mismatched blue and white china, jelly glasses filled with flowers, baskets of sea shells, stacks of books, blue painted furniture, and a charming cottage style garden. It was a glorious old cottage and had a lasting influence on me in decorating my home and garden in the colorful Southern cottage style and later in my art.
Bentley, my Studio Assistant, is waiting patiently to assist with our tour.
As a child I spent hours picking flowers and arranging them at the old cottage. I still love to pick flowers from my own garden and arrange them in simple containers to paint.
The seashells I began collecting as a child and books I have collected over the years now end up in my art!
I collect vintage wicker furniture that reminds me of those lovely Summer days spent at the old beach cottage. The older pieces go outside in the garden and the better ones go inside. It is no surprise that they end up in my art as I love to paint the simple - everyday things that I live with and love.
This chair was the inspiration for the painting above it!
I love to group containers filled with flowers in primary colors around the outdoor wicker and then paint the grouping.
I no longer have this wicker set however, I still use the photo of the settee in some of my paintings (it was a freebie and finally gave out after a long life ).
My blue and white china ends up in lots of my paintings - it has almost become my "signature".
The yellow umbrella paintings are very popular and I repainted two with Catalina Island in the background for customers. Catalina Island is located 27 miles out from Newport Beach and is an iconic destination with buildings built in the 1930's. It has the feel of going back in time and is a place that my family and I spent have spent lots of enjoyable times since moving to Southern California many years ago. All my life has been spent near the water and ocean and it has definitely had a big influence in my art.
Our son grew up in Southern California and spent his summers with us on our sailboat at Catalina Island and those are his coastal memories. He now has his own boat and spends lots of time at Catalina. I painted this porch overlooking the ocean with Catalina Island in the background for his birthday. I added the vintage orange Vespa to make it more masculine as he is looking for a vintage orange one to buy and he also plays the guitar.
The little chair paintings were inspired by my flag and primary color pillows. This chair in my living room was the inspiration for them!
Now that I live in Southern California just a few miles from Balboa Island I find similar inspirations for my coastal art on the island as the Southern coastal inspirations I grew up with as a child. The Balboa Pavilion is an iconic 100 year old historic landmark on the Newport Bay and is located across the bay from Balboa Island. My clients on the island love for me to paint it in the background of my coastal porch paintings.
Flags fly all over the island and I love adding them to my coastal paintings.
This is a popular painting of the Thursday afternoon races on the Newport Bay and I have painted it several times.
This painting was inspired by the cottage shown below on Balboa Island with the model sailboat in the window overlooking the Balboa Pavilion.
I am so lucky that I can spend lots of time on the island walking Bentley, my Studio and Garden Assistant, painting and soaking up the charm. The gallery that carries my Coastal Cottage Art (The Heart of the Island) is located on the island and I feel so fortunate to have my art on sale in such a charming and delightful gallery that supports local artists.
Inspirational Cottages and porches on Balboa Island
Thank you for stopping by. I sincerely appreciate you visits, e-mails, comments and those who follow my blog. I will be back in a few weeks after my surgery and will post some photos of my Summer garden.
Have a lovely week. Blessings, Erin
The meditation of my heart shall be understanding." Psalm 49:3